Homegrown Heroes: Colorado Makes a Statement at Loretta Lynn’s 2018

The meccas of motocross in the United States are places like California, Texas, and Florida. Each year, one of these states (California, more often than not) earns the right to say that they claim the most national title winners at the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s. Is it a surprise, though? Warm weather, pristine tracks/training facilities, and other elite riders and companies to train alongside make for the perfect storm to create an army of some of the best amateur and professional motocross riders in the world. Few would go out on a limb and say that a state that has only a few decent practice tracks open a few times per week and snow on the ground for half the year, a state such as Colorado, would produce more than a handful of nationally ranked motocross racers. It would be easy to have doubt, justified even. It’s not a secret, we’re no California. Despite the odds, Coloradans continue to come together and input their every ounce of effort to make the dream of lining up on that full 42-man gate at Loretta Lynn’s dude ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN a reality. More and more Colorado riders are accomplishing that feat each year…and more and more are making a statement in doing so, too.

Cortez, CO resident, Alexander Vestal, sure made his statement in the highly competitive Schoolboy 1 (12-17) B/C and 125cc (12-17) B/C classes during the week. He ran 7-10-17 finishes to break the top 10 and end with a 9th overall in Schoolboy 1. His overall finish in 125cc B/C unfortunately does not reflect his impressive speed, but his battle to the finish against Chandler Baker in moto three where he nearly landed the third step on the podium sure does!

Power-siblings by the names of Dilon and Cole Blecha out of Fruita, CO also made quite a splash on the national stage. Dilon found himself putting up a consistent fight inside the top 10 in both of his classes nearly every moto. He went 8-8-11 in the 85cc (9-11) class for a 6th overall and, even more impressively, finished 5-5-4 in the 65cc (10-11) class for a 5th overall. If the eldest Blecha’s ride doesn’t prove to everyone that consistency really does pay off, I don’t know what does. Little brother, Cole, seems to be following in his big bro’s footsteps, as he also put on quite the ride at the ranch! He finished 9th overall in the 65cc (7-9) class and went 4-2-3 for a 2nd overall in the 51cc (7-8) Limited class.

The youngster named Deegan Miller is yet another Colorado native who worked his way into the top 10 at the ranch this year. The Parker, CO resident caught 9th in the 51cc (4-6) Limited class.

Colorado riders also did a considerable amount of damage in a couple of C classes at Loretta’s this year. Connor Stevenson, out of Littleton, CO, earned a solid 8th overall in 450 C with his best finish being a notable 2nd place in moto two. Things came together better for Stevenson in the 125 C class where he was able to claim the third step on the podium. Fellow rider, Jagger Koch, out of Silverthorne ended up landing the top spot in the 125 C Class, making it his first national championship at the ranch and the only one secured by a Coloradan this year!   

The Women’s (12+) class saw the talent of two female Colorado rippers by the names of Samantha Peters and Adilyn Malcolm. The two even battled here and there throughout the week! Peters went 17-7-9 for a 9th overall in the class. In addition to racing this stacked class, Sam also competed in the WMX series round at the ranch on the final day of amateur racing and finished 5th overall. Malcolm went 10-15-11 for a 10th overall in the Women’s (12+), squeezing her into that final spot inside the top 10 directly behind Peters. Adilyn also rocked the Girls (11-16) class where she rode 8-8-4 finishes for a 7th overall. Both ladies did women’s motocross in Colorado so proud!

This 2018 week in Tennessee is undoubtedly one for the Colorado motocross community to remember and build on! Listed below are the names of all of our homegrown 2018 Loretta Lynn’s competitors we know, love, and are so proud of  — amounting to a total of 29 riders dispersed throughout 25 classes. We’re stoked to have made such a great showing!

Congratulations: 

Dalton Linkus

Connor Stevenson

Ryan Zawacki

Gavin Starkweather

Tyler Long

Jaylend McCarty

Ryan Velasquez

Jagger Koch

Garrett Nibler

Robert Imondi

John Murray

Steven Street

Deegan Miller

Payton Aragon

Gage Dunham

Cole Blecha

Dilon Blecha

Beau Leach

Jeremy Roe

Jeremiah Willoughby

Carter Malcolm

Adilyn Malcolm

Logan Lessar

Brody Propernick

Alexander Vestal

Gracelin Naranjo

Alana Padilla

Eleanor Ogden

Samantha Peters

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